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Advances in Pharmacological Sciences
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 572634, 13 pages
Research Article

Oxidative Stress in Neurodegeneration

1Laboratory of Neurochemistry, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
2Molecular Genetics Unit, Laboratory of Sensory Biology, NIDCR, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

Received 20 April 2011; Accepted 22 June 2011

Academic Editor: Donard S. Dwyer

Copyright © 2011 Varsha Shukla et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


It has been demonstrated that oxidative stress has a ubiquitous role in neurodegenerative diseases. Major source of oxidative stress due to reactive oxygen species (ROS) is related to mitochondria as an endogenous source. Although there is ample evidence from tissues of patients with neurodegenerative disorders of morphological, biochemical, and molecular abnormalities in mitochondria, it is still not very clear whether the oxidative stress itself contributes to the onset of neurodegeneration or it is part of the neurodegenerative process as secondary manifestation. This paper begins with an overview of how oxidative stress occurs, discussing various oxidants and antioxidants, and role of oxidative stress in diseases in general. It highlights the role of oxidative stress in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The last part of the paper describes the role of oxidative stress causing deregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) hyperactivity associated with neurodegeneration.